By Omar Bah
The Gambia Transport Union has appealed to the government to facilitate the immediate return of 19 trucks seized by Senegalese forces under Ecomig at Bwiam.
The union’s president, Omar Ceesay told journalists on Tuesday that the union is outraged over the Senegalese forces’ refusal to return the trucks to their ov,rners despite a Brikama Magistrate court order.
Ceesay warned that they could be forced to take action if the government refuses to adhere to their demands. “Over three months, Senegalese soldiers had the trucks unlawfully impounded and when the matter finally reached the courts, the drivers were found guilty and on July 16 by the Brikama Magistrates Court which ordered that the vehicles be released.
But up to today, those vehicles are in the custody of the soldiers. What type of country are we living in now?” Ceesay asked.
He urged the Gambia government to release the vehicles as soon as possible or they will react. Bwiam checkpoint Ceesay said drivers are encountering pain at the Ecomig checkpoint in Bwiam.
“The location of the checkpoint is totally bad. The number of accidents that happened there is already more than 10 accidents. Government gave us assurance they will do something about it but still nothing has been done, ” he said.
Ceesay added: “Are we living in a war zone? We cannot sit while the properties of our members are being destroyed and their lives threatened because of a certain checkpoint mounted by Senegalese forces timber”.
Ecomig reacts When contacted for comments to seize Ecomig spokesperson, Andy La-Anyane said: “The timber and vehicle issue was at the diplomatic level between Senegal and The Gambia governments.
From what I have been told, it has been resolved and there are no outstanding issues. ” He said the Ecomig cannot be held accountable or responsible for whatever issue between the two governments.
“They have their own bilateral agreements or whatever, ” he clarified. On the issue of the checkpoint, PRO La- Anyane added: “Lot of issues are taken into consideration before checkpoints are established especially where it is supposed to be located. So all these things were done.
I understand that even when a few people complained about its location, the Gambia Police Force came in and realised that it was in the right place and serving the right purpose. I think that was well dealt with.